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NYPD searching for suspect in two anti-Muslim assaults in Queens

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is searching for a man in connection with anti-Muslim assaults in Richmond Hill and Jamaica this month. (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is searching for a man in connection with anti-Muslim assaults in Richmond Hill and Jamaica on Sunday, June 20.

The first assault occurred around 1:15 p.m. as the unidentified man followed a 31-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman in the vicinity of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard while shouting anti-Muslim slurs.

The suspect proceeded to punch the man in the back, then grabbed the woman’s hijab and punched her on the arm, police said. Both the victims sustained pain and redness but refused medical attention.

About an hour later the man followed a 64-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman in the vicinity of 105 Inwood Ave. near Liberty Avenue.

In this assault, the suspect punched the woman several times in the face and head before fleeing, police said.

The woman sustained pain, redness, small lacerations to the head and face as well as a fractured nose. EMS responded and transported the woman to Jamaica Hospital where she was listed in stable condition, according to the NYPD.

In a statement regarding the attacks, Ahmed Mohamed, legal director at CAIR-NY, a national Muslim advocacy and civil liberties group, said they are praying for the “victims’ speedy recovery and for the apprehension and prosecution of the assailant.”

“We are disturbed that people going about their daily lives are being randomly attacked because of anti-Muslim hate. It is absolutely disgusting. Bias incidents targeting Muslims and members of other minority communities are sadly on the rise. Every person deserves to feel safe to walk around Queens — which is supposed to be the ‘World’s Borough,'” Mohamed said. “We hope officials will condemn these Islamophobic attacks and show solidarity with the Muslim community.”

Mohamed called on elected officials to support community-based organizations that support and provide services for victims of hate.

The suspect in the attacks was seen on surveillance video, according to police. He was described by investigators as a man with a beard, wearing a dark blue jacket, black pants, a dark blue durag and red sneakers.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of the suspects is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

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